Association Management System.
Managed by Catalyst Connection alongside regional partners including the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and the Appalachian Regional Commision, the Shale POWER initiative provides technical assistance and business support to small- to medium-sized manufacturers and enterprises seeking to expand business, production, and jobs in the burgeoning shale gas and downstream manufacturing sectors of the coal-impacted, Appalachian region.
Trailhead: Where We Started
After receiving funding for the Shale POWER initiative, Catalyst’s leadership recognized the need to develop an initiative identity including branding, a logo, a resource-rich website, and a reliable method of capturing and interpreting data for analysis and refinement of the initiative. Shale POWER’s primary aim was to facilitate productive connections and networking among diverse stakeholders in the industrial supply chain, improving interconnectivity across the ecosystem. With these aims in mind, they sought to collaborate with an agency capable of providing a full spectrum of services and resources.
Trek: Steps We’ve Taken
Having recently partnered with TrailBlaze Creative on a number of successful initiatives, including Explore the New Manufacturing and Making Your Future, collaboration with TrailBlaze was an intuitive choice. Soon after contracting with TrailBlaze, Shale POWER staff participated in a number of ideation sessions conducted by TrailBlaze to generate initial design and site mapping specifications for the Shale POWER website. Over the course of these sessions, Shale POWER expressed their desire to implement a number of unique website features, including a data-capture form for those accessing their Resource Library; an interactive map to allow users to survey partners, potential partners, and funders in the tri-state area; and a directory where visitors could complete a responsive form using conditional logic to register their company while seeking Shale POWER networking opportunities.
In a short timeline, all of these features were designed, refined, and implemented on the Shale POWER website, maximizing data collection and analysis, and heightening the degree to which Shale POWER initiative participants could connect with other members of the regional industry ecosystem and benefit from website resources like the “Industry Assessment” tool and internal pages dedicated to grant seeking and other industry-oriented resources.
After TrailBlaze embedded these key website features, Shale POWER expressed interest in incorporating promotional materials for its speaker series, “Fuel for Thought,” into the new website. Thanks to the successful branding and implementation of internal pages dedicated to Fuel for Thought, Shale POWER participants can now benefit from attending an ongoing series of webinars featuring a range of reputable industry speakers and subject matter experts.
In addition to ensuring extensive functionality on the Shale POWER initiative website, TrailBlaze also worked to create newsletters, as well as a branded, replicable newsletter template for the initiative’s future use. TrailBlaze also helped with the setup and management of a number of Shale POWER virtual events, further promoting the initiative and its networking aims.
Summit: Vision Realized
Beyond applying all of Shale POWER’s requested features (data capture, interactive map, and extensive resources), into their newly designed website, TrailBlaze opened the Shale POWER directory to include over 100 industry companies, each of which are now capable of partnering with other industry stakeholders. With the data Shale POWER now captures using its Resource Library form and other tools, Shale POWER is empowered to refine its initiative, assess audience engagement, and increase networking opportunities in an informed and effective way. With TrailBlaze’s added assistance in organizing and managing multiple virtual events, Shale POWER has seamlessly adapted to prepare web-based events and resources like its “Fuel for Thought” series. TrailBlaze continues to host and maintain Shale POWER’s website, making further upgrades to the site as the initiative broadens in scope and connects more industry partners across the tri-state region.
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